EAST ORANGE, NJ – There are occasions in the sport of track and field when a time, distance or height does not fully portray the entire story. One of those instances occurred this past weekend at the Essex County Relay Track and Field Championships held at Livingston High School where Seniors Haji Davis, Damion Thomas, Junior Tyraiq Beals and Freshman Cory Poole led East Orange Campus High School to win the intermediate and shuttle hurdle relay titles in times of 2:53.0 and 1:00.39, respectively.
On the surface, there isn’t anything amazing that occurred as the Jaguars did not win the Team Championship or break any records in their winning efforts. However, it was a very special evening for the hurdlers and Coach Rich Kirton who was given the nod by Coach Lance Wigfall to orchestrate a plan to win both hurdle races. It was also the last time that Kirton will be coaching at the Essex County Relays as he is entering the realm of full retirement after this season.
“The meet in itself was kind of special for me being it was my last time attending in a coaching capacity” said Kirton. “When I arrived at Livingston High School on Friday, I was feeling very good about the boys chances of winning both hurdle races. I knew it was going to be a dual between East Orange Campus and Seton Hall Prep”.
Kirton also spoke about his relationship with Davis, Thomas, Beals and Poole. “I have coached a lot of teams (boys and girls) who have won the Essex County Shuttle Hurdle Relay Title as well as girls, who have won the intermediate hurdle title too, but I have never coached a group of boys to the intermediate crown and they did it dramatically by winning from the third heat. These boys are incredibly unique and I truly enjoy working with them”
The next challenge for the Jaguars will be the Super Essex Conference (SEC) Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 10th at Millburn High School. The competition begins at 9am.
East Orange Campus Performance Summary – Essex County Relays
400 Meter Intermediate Hurdle Relay 2:53.70 (1st Place)
Haji Davis, Cory Poole, Damion Thomas
Shuttle Hurdle Relay 1:00.39 (1st place)
Tyraiq Beals, Damion Thomas, Cory Poole, Haji Davis
4 X 400 Meter Relay 3:22.78 (3rd Place)
Jermain Flanagan, Haji Davis, Joseph Taylor, Cory Poole
High Jump Relay 11’3” (6th Place)
Jeffery Davinston, Charon Jenkins